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Women's Cinema from Tangiers to Tehran: Berkeley to host Iranian actress and director Niki Karimi


Source: Pacific Film Archives

March 1, 2009 - April 29, 2009

Niki Karimi

A celebration of women filmmakers from North Africa and the Middle East, as well as the diaspora in Europe, this series represents a remarkable geographic, cultural, and stylistic range. In documentaries, features, and experimental works, the directors depict urban attitudes and rural traditions, the dream of escape and the isolation of exile, and the comforts and entrapments of family. But as James Neil, co-curator of the British series that inspired this one, has said, a common theme runs through the films: "They are about women who struggle and strive against their surroundings, and they're directed by women who have had those experiences themselves."

Iranian director and actress Niki Karimi joins us on March 1 to present her films One Night and A Few Days Later

Well known for her portrayals of forceful, independent women in such films as Sara (1993), Two Women (1999), and The Hidden Half (2001), she also assisted Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami on The Wind Will Carry Us and ABC Africa before going on to direct her own films. In advocating for what she calls "the kind of cinema which describes reality and which gets close to people's daily lives without making compromises," she speaks for many of the courageous women whose works are presented here.

Of related interest are two screenings in our film-lecture course Film 50: Marziyeh Meshkini's The Day I Became a Woman on April 22 and Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis on April 29.

Sunday, March 1, 2009
3:30 p.m. One Night
Niki Karimi (Iran, 2005). Niki Karimi in person.
Yek Shab (One Night): Yek Shab is the story of a young girl who decides to spend the night walking around the streets of Tehran so her mother can have some privacy at home with a guest. She subsequently meets three men with different stories to tell.

Sunday, March 1, 2009
6:00 p.m. A Few Days Later . . .
Niki Karimi (Iran, 2006). Niki Karimi in person.
Chand Rooz Ba'd (A Few Days Later): Chand Rooz Ba'd explores the life of Shahrzad, a famous graphic designer living in Tehran who is consumed by her work and daily life. She is faced with a hard decision as she contemplates leaving her boyfriend with whom she is raising a disabled son.

Saturday, March 7, 2009
6:00 p.m. The Silences of the Palace
Moufida Tlatli (Tunisia, 1994)

Thursday, March 12, 2009
6:30 p.m. An Egyptian Salad
Nadia Kamel (Egypt/France/Switzerland, 2007)

Sunday, March 22, 2009
2:00 p.m. I Am the One Who Brings Flowers to Her Grave
Hala Al-Abdallah, Ammar El-Beik (France/Syria, 2006)

Sunday, March 29, 2009
2:00 p.m. Immigrant Memories: The North African Experience
Yamina Benguigui (France, 1997)

Sunday, March 29, 2009
5:00 p.m. Inch'Allah Sunday
Yamina Benguigui (France, 2001)

Thursday, April 2, 2009
6:30 p.m. Our Heedless Wars
Randa Chahal Sabbag (France, 1995)

Thursday, April 2, 2009
7:50 p.m. The Kite
Randa Chahal Sabbag (Lebanon/France, 2003)

Friday, April 3, 2009
6:30 p.m. Journey to the Sun
Yesim Ustaoglu (Turkey/Germany, 1999)

Friday, April 10, 2009
6:30 p.m. A Door to the Sky
Farida Ben Lyazid (Morocco/Tunisia/France, 1989)

Sunday, April 12, 2009
2:00 p.m. Artists' Films from Beirut to Tehran
Mireille Astore, Fabian Astore, Mona Hatoum, Lamia Joreige, Rosalind Nashashibi, Shirin Neshat, Zineb Sedira (1988-2006)

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Women's Cinema from Tangiers to Tehran is a touring exhibition coordinated by ArteEast, a nonprofit arts organization based in New York that promotes the arts and cultures of the Middle East. For its original presentation in England, it was curated by James Neil and Suzy Gillett of Parallax Media and Institut Franšais. We wish to thank Suna Kafadar, coordinator of the tour, and Livia Alexander, executive director of ArteEast. Prints are part of the tour unless otherwise indicated.

At PFA, the series is coordinated by Kathy Geritz and cosponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley. It is presented in conjunction with the yearlong interdisciplinary program Gender, Islam and the West, hosted by the Institute of European Studies (IES). Special thanks to Beverly Crawford, associate director, IES, and Noga Wizanksy, assistant director, National Resource Center for West European Studies. Gender, Islam and the West features academics, public intellectuals, activists, artists, and writers who will explore the relationship between Islam and Western secularism, particularly as it manifests itself in the lives of women. The full array of events is listed at

Niki Karimi's visit is presented in conjunction with the UC Berkeley Department of Gender and Women's Studies and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Special thanks to Minoo Moallem, professor and chair of Gender and Women's Studies.

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